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Greetings from Mumsnet HQ,


...Where we've been getting excited by our rapidly approaching book awards. Don't forget to make your vote count by nominating your best book ever along with the worst book, best light read and best book of the past year.

Speaking of literary genius, Jonathan Coe will be joining us on Tuesday 1st July for a cuppa and a chat about The Rain Before It Falls, our June book of the month, and his other work. So make sure you put the date in your diary to come along and post a multitude of insightful, thoughtful questions.

We'd like to send out a thank you to all of you who have continued to add your comments and thoughts on our Campaign for a Miscarriage Standard Code of Practice. We will be working on pulling it all together over the next few days.

Finally, competition time, and this week there's the chance to win tickets to the Mamma Mia movie and the ultimate family day out in the Big Smoke.

And now for this week's parenting news ...

Mums get breastfeeding rights: Mothers are to get the legal right to breastfeed in a public place under the terms of the Equality Bill, which will make it an offence to stop any woman from breastfeeding a baby up to the age of six months. Under current laws, women breastfeeding in places such as restaurants or bars can be charged under public order or indecency legislation. A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "The government is keen to give new mothers complete confidence to breastfeed while going about their normal business, for example while on the bus or in a café." (Daily Mail 16.06.08)

Placebo pill fears: A fruit-flavoured placebo pill that tricks small children into thinking they are getting medical treatment is to be launched in Britain despite concerns from childcare experts. Manufacturers of the sugar pills Obecalp - placebo spelled backwards - say they help soothe childhood woes without resorting to drugs. But doctors fear it could increase reliance on medication, and may stop parents seeking help when necessary. (Guardian 16.06.08)

Other stories in brief

Schools' secretary Ed Balls says some parents are refusing to accept that teachers have a right to discipline their children - teachers are giving unruly pupils detentions only for the parents to march into class to complain, he says (BBC Online 19.06.08); premature babies are being put at unnecessary risk of infection and death in understaffed neonatal units across England, MPs said this week (Guardian 17.06.08); nine out of ten people say parents should be told if their children are found to be obese under the Child Measurement Programme (Times 14.06.08); and Zhang Xiaoyan, the pregnant woman trapped for 50 hours after the Chinese earthquake gave birth to a healthy girl this week - she named her child Ai, which means love, in honour of the rescue workers and strangers who she says have showered her with kindness and gifts in the month since she was pulled out of the debris (Guardian 19.06.08).

Hot threads

Quote of the week

Cappucino on whether she will fund her children through university: "If they want the qualification then they can stay at home and I can feed them ... if they want to spend 3 years vomiting on traffic cones then they can fund that themselves."

Looking for a day out? Mumsnetters recommend:

Aitch's TV round-up: Tribal Wives, BBC2, Wednesday 25th June 9pm

The premise of Tribal Wives, rather insultingly to all parties concerned, is that we pampered Western types might benefit from exposure to the 'real' lives of women from other more 'primitive' cultures. Why would that be insulting? Well... are Western women really such eejits? Answer: Yes. And are tribal women such fonts of wisdom? Answer: Yes. According to this programme, that is. Never let the truth get in the way of a good format, I always say. Read more here.

Blog of the week: Yetihed

Yetihed admits to secretly enjoying the fact that motherhood has destroyed her brain cells: "I love it! Bliss to be released from the pressures of everyday life. I just gaze wistfully into the distance and say 'sorry, my mind's gone. Lack of sleep, I'm afraid'. And then no one expects anything of me for a while."

Filled with pent-up parenting rage? Or want to write down your baby's milestones so you won't forget? Get blogging with your own Mumsnet Blog.

Carmenere's Recipe Of The Week - YumYumMummy's Rocket Pasta Salad.

As it's midsummer this weekend (sigh) and we should be in the swing of the summer soiree season, we thought a party recipe would be useful. YumYumMummy has come up with an easy rocket pasta salad that is perfect for buffets, barbeques and picnics. So embrace your inner bunting-cupcake and indulge in some al-fresco culinary showing off!

Right, that's your lot for this week. We're off to bone up on Jonathan Coe.

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